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Letter from Colonel Jordan to the Maryland Council of Safety



St˙ Mary' s County, St˙ George' s River, July 17, 1776.

GENTLEMEN: I arrived down here on the 15th instant, with about one hundred of the Militia, where I found Captain Beall, with part of his company, and one company of Colonel Barnes' s battalion. About daybreak yesterday, we were visited by a row galley, or row gondola, carrying five swivels on each side, a six-pounder in her head, and another in her stern. They rowed alongside of our sentinel, and not a man to be seen, and instantly began a very heavy firing, which lasted about one hour, but without doing any execution, although their shot reached the ground on every spot where the men were stationed. In the evening, she returned again, and engaged us again for upwards of two hours; and at the same time the troops landed from the ships on St˙ George' s Island, to the amount of about three hundred, pushed down to the point opposite to us, with swivels and musketry, and kept up a heavy fire, from which


Captain Beall was dangerously wounded in the shoulder with a ball (as he says) from a rifle, which has rendered him incapable of duty.

I shall endeavour to keep the post we are at present at, if possible; if not, I shall retreat to the woods, about half a mile. From a report we had given us yesterday, they are constructing another vessel like the above, and that they intend attacking us on the Potomack side. I think, from all appearances, the fleet will continue some time; if so, some cannon and swivels will be absolutely necessary, to dislodge the men they have landed on the Island.

With what assistance we can give in this quarter, I think five hundred of the Militia of the upper battalion will be full enough to oppose the enemy. We have now, at different posts, about six hundred men.

For further particulars, I refer you to Mr˙ Hopewell, by whom this goes express. He will also inform you of the difficulties we labour under in getting provisions for the men, without money to pay for it immediately. Three hundred pounds, I think, would be sufficient.

Colonel Barnes, with his battalion, is on the other side of the river, watching the motions of the enemy there.

I am, gentlemen, your most obedient servant,

To the Honourable the Council of Safely of Maryland.